H21 numeric front.jpg

The H-21 is Opticon's Windows Mobile 6.5 smart phone with an embedded scan engine.

Device Customization

Adding or Removing Items from the Today Screen

The list of items on the Today screen is controlled from within the device's Settings menu. The Today screen is the screen that appears when the device is first turned on. Note that in order to add a custom item to a device's Today screen, the program you would like to add must have used Microsoft's API for creating a Today screen item. The Today screen functions differently from the Start menu as it allows programs to display status updates and other information.

To modify the Today screen, select "Start," then "Settings," then "Today."

How To

Cold Boot

A cold boot is when a device boots from a completely cold (meaning off) state. This applies when the device was shut down properly and when power is cut prematurely such as by pulling the battery (but only when the backup battery is also dead otherwise the device just goes to sleep (see below). To properly power off the device press and hold the power key for a full 2 seconds. You will be prompted with an 'OK/Cancel' decision box. Select 'OK'. Certain programs can lose data in this case if you have not properly saved whatever you were working on at the time the power off is performed.

Warm Boot

A warm boot is when a device is rebooted without ever having been fully powered down. Certain programs can lose data in this case if you have not properly saved whatever you were working on at the time the reboot is performed. To perform a warm boot use the stylus to tap the reset switch on the left side of the unit.

Suspend / Resume

H21 device can be placed in suspend mode (also called sleep mode) if you tap the power key once. It is resumed (woken up) the same way. The display will be completely off in this state but some of the status LEDs will continue to blink slowly and you can still receive incoming calls and other alerts. The device will automatically enter a suspend state after a set time period has elapsed. The default time for this is 1 minute but can be configured in the 'Power' application.

Configure a Static IP Address

On Wifi

First, open Wireless Manager by tapping the wireless connections icon, or by navigating to Start->Settings->Connections->Wireless Manager. From here, select Menu->Wifi-Settings. Choose the Network Adapters tab, and then tap on Broadcom 802.11 DHD Network Adapter.

From this screen you can configure your static IP address, as well as your subnet mask, and default gateway. The Name Servers tab also allows you to configure up to two DNS or WINS servers to query during hostname lookups.

Set up Mobile Internet

These instructions step you through setting up internet connections on the H-21 through your cellular carrier.

  1. Install SIM card with valid Data plan
    1. Your cellular account must have a valid data plan activated for internet connections to function on the H-21. Contact your carrier for details.
    2. The SIM card must be installed under the battery of the device for internet connections to function on the H-21.
    3. Power on your device
  2. Enable Phone
    1. Navigate to Start > Settings > Connections > Wireless Manager
    2. If the Phone button is OFF tap it once to turn it ON
    3. Tap OK
  3. Select the proper connection.
    1. Navigate to Start > Settings > Connections > Connections
    2. In the section My ISP find and tap Manage Existing Connections
    3. Select the entry with the correct Access point name for your carrier (AT&T: wap.cingular, T-Mobile: wap.voicestream.com) and tap Next
      Note: The Access point name can differ from region to region. Contact your carrier if the above access points do not work.

Factory Reset

Warning! - Performing a factory reset will delete any and all user data and personal applications that are loaded on the device. Please back up your data before performing this operation. Note that the 'FlashDisk' portion of the disk is untouched by this operation and can safely be used as permanent data storage in such circumstances.

Software Method

This factory reset method uses an application within Windows Mobile to perform a reset to factory defaults.

Tap the screen to set up your
Windows(r) phone.

Hardware Method

This factory reset method uses a hardware button combination to perform a factory reset. It is best used for when some event causes Windows to be inaccessible.

The CAPTURE button is the camera key on the lower right side of the device.
The END key is the red phone disconnect button on the front right of the device.
The buttons to use are just below the display and are labeled simply with a small black dot to indicate that they are for use with whatever the screen says above them.
Tap the screen to set up your
Windows(r) phone.

Configure the Scanner

The H21 supports many different options that control the behavior of the barcode scanner embedded in the device. All of these options can be found within a single application. To find this application follow the path below.

Start > Settings > System > Scanner Settings > Code Options (tab).
An explanation of each setting follows, separated into groups here as they are separated by tabs within the H21 Scanner Settings application.

Basic Settings

Custom Buzzer Sound

You can change the buzzer sound to any wav sound clip using the process below.

Code Options

The Code Options tab allows you to configure what barcode symbologies are enabled and allows configuration of a variety of options specific to each symbology. A check mark next to a symbology name means that barcodes of the given symbology can be scanned. Additional settings specific to each symbology can be found by tap-holding a symbology name and then selecting the sub symbology name from the list that appears.

Read Options

The options on this tab change the behavior of the barcode scanner in ways that are not specific to the H21 or to a specific barcode symbology.

Additional Settings

The Additional Settings tab is a place to configure specific and advanced configuration options.

Menu Codes

Menu Codes are Opticon's configuration settings, and each correspond to a particular setting, for example enabling and disabling Code 39. Nearly all of Opticon's products use the same set of menu codes for all possible configuration options. In the case of the H21, many of these options are expressed as buttons and drop down boxes on the various tabs of the Scanner Settings program as described above. A few options, notably those categorized as Data Wizard options must still be configured manually. These menu codes, when known, are placed in the flat text file Initbcr.bcr as described above. The Data Wizard is a series of Menu Codes that allow for basic string manipulations such as removing or replacing certain characters within the barcode data or only transmitting certain portions based on matching criteria. Please Contact Us for additional details on these features. A specific example of these codes (used to remove a possible 18th digit from a normally 17 digit VIN) and instruction in their use can be found below.

How do I strip out the 18th digit from Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs)
  1. tap-hold UPC
  2. Select UPC-A when prompted
  3. under section 'Transmit CD' change to "No leading zero, not transmit CD"
  4. tap 'OK'
  5. Tap 'Additional Settings' (tab)
  6. Tap 'Edit' (button)
  7. the text "HC" is present by default. Go to a new line and type the following exactly as you see it here:
  8. Tap 'ok' to save the text file
  9. Tap 'Update' to save these settings
  10. You should see a popup containing 'Transmit command success'. If you do not please start again at step 1.
  11. Tap 'ok on the popup and 'ok' again to close the scanner settings.
  12. You will see a 'wait' icon for a second or two and when gone you are ready to go.

Collect Information

Windows Mobile Firmware Version

You should only need to look up this information when prompted to do so by an Opticon employee.

Barcode Scanner Firmware Version

You should only need to look up this information when prompted to do so by an Opticon employee.

Loading Firmware

Windows Mobile

SD Card Method

This process requires a micro SD card. The H21 supports sizes up to 16GB.

The capture key is on the right side of the phone with an icon of a camera on it. The right scan key is just above the capture key. The volume down key is the portion of the double-button on the left side of the phone that is closest to the left scan key.
Tap the screen to set up your
Windows® phone

Barcode Scanner

Not currently supported (or necessary) on this device.

Share a 3G or 4G Connection with a Windows PC

  1. From the main screen, select Start.
  2. Choose Connection Sharing. This application allows you to configure how you want to share the phone's network connection. You can share the connection over Bluetooth or USB.
  3. Choose the type of connection you've established between the H21 and the PC, either Bluetooth or USB.
  4. Finally, select Connect. The H21 will automatically establish a connection with the mobile network, and then it will begin sharing that connection with your PC.

Software Development

I want to add the default Windows Mobile camera interface to my .NET app, so that users can take pictures. How do I do that?

This is easily accomplished by using the Microsoft.WindowsMobile.Forms namespace in your .NET application, and using the CameraCaptureDialog class. You can use an instance of the class to show a dialog that provides exactly the same interface you'd find if you opened the camera from OS. Note that the Microsoft.WindowsMobile.Forms DLL is not part of the .NET Compact Framework by default, and is not present on the H21 by default; you must add it as a reference to your .NET application, and deploy it with your application.

Does the H21 SDK have classes to manage and communicate via the IrDA port?

No it doesn't - Microsoft has already included classes in the .NET Compact Framework to deal with IrDA communication. See the System.Net.IrDA namespace.

Universal Menu Book commands that deal with symbology options return false when sent with the BarcodeDecoder.SendCommand() method. What's going on?

This behavior is actually by design, because it’s configurable through a different interface.
If you bring up the ScannerManager app, and go to the Code Options tab, you can hold down the stylus on a symbology and bring up an options page for that symbology. You're able to set different symbology options there.
In code, say you wanted to send the leading check digit of UPCE codes (menu book code 'E6') to distinguish between UPCE0 and UPCE1. You would do this:


Help! My device won't connect over ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center! What do I do?

Usually this problem can be solved by turning off the "Advanced Network Functionality" that is built into the H-21 for use in making Activesync connections. To disable that functionality, select "Start," "Settings," "Connections," and "USB to PC." Uncheck "Enable advanced network functionality" to turn that feature off.

My device slows down after I scan a lot of barcodes. What can I do to fix this?

Microsoft includes a feature with Windows Mobile called Autocomplete. Autocomplete collects words that you type as you type them so that it can then suggest them to you in the future. This is important because with the keyboard wedge enabled on the H-21, which is typically how the device is used, Autocomplete will store your barcode scans as if they are typed words, and then suggest them back to you as you scan additional barcodes.

This isn't a problem with small quantities of scans, but if you scan hundreds or thousands of barcodes a day, the Autocomplete database can become very large, which can cause Autocomplete lookups to take a very long time.

To disable Autocomplete, go to Start->Settings->Personal->Input, then select the "Word Completion" tab. Uncheck both the "Suggest words when entering text" and "Enable Auto Correct" options. This will eliminate the slowdown that comes from Autocomplete. You can also free up the space taken up by stored entires by pressing "Clear Stored Entries."

Help! I just upgraded my Windows 10 computer and it will no longer connect to my device! What do I do?

Microsft made some changes in the 1703 edition in Windows also known as the Creative update. If your device can no longer connect to Windows Mobile Device Center, verify you have edition 1703 or later:

Click on the start menu and type about your PC and read the version number. If you have version number 1703 or higher, you can follow the below steps to enable your device to connect to Windows Mobile Device Center.

  1. Install the .NET Framework 3.5. To install it simply right click on ?'Start' and go to 'Control Panel' > 'programs' > 'Programs and Features' > 'Turn Windows features on or off' and select the '.NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)'.
  2. Click on the start menu and type cmd
  3. Right click on command prompt and choose run as administrator
  4. Copy this line below and paste it into command prompt:
  5. REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RapiMgr /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
  6. Hit ENTER
  7. Copy this line below and paste it into command prompt:
  8. REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WcesComm /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
  9. Hit ENTER
  10. Reboot your computer
  11. On the H21 go to Connects > USB to PC > uncheck enable advanced network functionality and then click OK on the top right hand corner of the screen to save the settings
  12. Plug the device into the computer wait a few seconds for Windows Mobile Device center to open and start running.
  13. Go to task manager (CTRL ALT DELETE) and end the task Windows Mobile Device Center
  14. Go to start menu type in Windows Mobile Device Center and run it.
  15. It should open up and you should see a loading Icon saying it is connecting. You will then be connected.

Ordering Information

Package Contents

The following list of items are the contents of the accessory kit that comes with every H21 kit purchase.


Notice: The downloading and use of any Opticon software implies consent with Opticon's End User License Agreement.


Document Description Version Download
User Manual This is the user manual for the H-21 Download
Datasheet Technical details at a glance. 102014 Download


Software Description Version Download
SDK The H-21 SDK is two part. The system SDK which is a C++ LIB and Header file as well as the Barcode Reader (BCR) SDK which is installed via the included MSI (Microsoft Installer) program. The BCR portion supports both native and .NET development. See the included documentation. Download
Firmware: Windows Mobile (SD Card Install Method) - English ROM See Upgrade Instructions for details on installation. 5.761 Download
Firmware: Windows Mobile (SD Card Install Method) - Spanish ROM See Upgrade Instructions for details on installation. 5.771 Download

Categories: H  | Handheld